*** (Three stars)
Disclaimer: I knew nothing about Diego Rivera going into this film, except that he was married to Frida Kahlo and was a painter. This documentary centers on Rivera and two of his contemporaries—cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo —as well as these men's families, who seek to pay tribute to their loved ones with this film. Years ago, the three original collaborators set out to make a movie chronicling Rivera and his frescos, but the footage was lost and forgotten. The artists' progeny have given the project new life with added footage and commentary, and expanded to focus to touch on the whole of the trio's work, as well as their broader influence on the arts.
The film drags at times, showing nothing more than Rivera standing and sketching an unseen subject. The most resonant aspect is the heartfelt praise offered by people who knew these men, which underscores the love and admiration the Mexican people have for them. If nothing else, it made me want to learn more about these artists and their work.—Lucy Quintanilla, associate art director
[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]